Skip to main content
Press Release

Two Individuals Charged with Scheme to Export and Smuggle Aviation Device to United Arab Emirates

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Two people were arrested Tuesday morning for shipping an Air Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU) from New Jersey to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) without having obtained the required license and authorization, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Fadi Nammas, 43, of Fairfax, Virginia, and Tara Jamhour, 24, of Rockaway, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to export and smuggle goods from the United States, one count of unlawfully exporting goods from the United States without having first obtained the required license or authorization, and one count of smuggling goods from the United States. Nammas made his initial appearance on July 2, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Fitzpatrick in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia, and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing, detention hearing, and identity hearing on July 3, 2024, before Judge Fitzpatrick. Jamhour made her initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen in Newark federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From November 2023 through March 2024, Nammas and Jamhour were working under the auspices of Star Aero, an aircraft service and part provider with a purported address in Garfield, New Jersey. The defendants obtained an ADIRU, a component that supplies air data and inertial reference information to pilots’ electronic flight instrument system displays, from a Vermont-based aviation company. Nammas and Jamhour arranged to have the ADIRU shipped to Star Aero’s purported Garfield address. In procuring the ADIRU, Nammas and Jamhour represented that the ADIRU was being purchased for Star Aero’s stock purposes and that Star Aero understood and would comply with United States export laws. The defendants did not disclose that they intended to ship the ADIRU to another company in the UAE. Once the defendants received the ADIRU, they repackaged it with false documentation that undervalued and falsely described the item and attempted to ship it to the UAE. Neither Nammas nor Jamhour obtained the required license or authorization to ship the ADIRU, which was controlled for missile technology and anti-terrorism reasons, to the UAE.

The charge of conspiracy is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 fine. The charge of unlawfully exporting controlled goods is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The charge of smuggling is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber, and agents of the HSI Field Office in Fairfax, Virginia.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vera Varshavsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit and Trial Attorney Monica Svetoslavov of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division. 

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 2, 2024

National Security
Press Release Number: 24-256